Travoltas Make First Public Appearance Since Son's Death

09/12/2009 at 01:00 PM EDT

Travoltas Make First Public Appearance Since Son's Death
Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu Travolta and John Travolta
Eric Charbonneau/WireImage
Nine months after the death of their 16-year-old son Jett, John Travolta and Kelly Preston – with their daughter Ella Bleu – made their first public appearance together on Friday to promote their new Disney film Old Dogs.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook introduced the family during a surprise appearance for fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. Travolta led the way on stage, holding Ella's hand, as the family helped Cook introduce the movie. All three appear in the comedy, which marks Ella's big screen debut.

According to the Associated Press, Travolta told the crowd, "I always appreciate the audience's love for me." He continued: "I hope they love Old Dogs and much as we do, because I've got my baby in it."

While his wife returned to work in recent months to star opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song, Travolta has kept out of the public eye, instead flying to various locations alone to privately cope with his grief.

Preston was expected to speak in October at the California Governor's Conference for Women on a panel titled "Grief & Resilience" but she bowed out last month saying it was "just too soon" to discuss Jett's passing.

Old Dogs also costars Robin Williams and hits theaters on Nov. 25.

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